Thursday, July 17, 2014

The General Federation of Women's Clubs Is Buying This House

GFWC Fundraising Postcard - Vintage

Published circa 1922

Postcard Caption
The General Federation of Women's Clubs is Buying This House as Permanent Headquarters at 1734 N. Street NW Washington, D.C. / Permanent headquarters are a visible symbol of strength. They constitute a place where Club women can always get help. Most significant of all they maintain Continuity of Effort and Organization while administrations come and go. / It is hoped that every Club will be glad to help, little or much, according to its means. / Contributions may be sent through your State Director, checks to be made to the Treasurer, Mrs. Florence C. Floore, Cleburne, Texas. / Special Committee on Headquarters / Mrs. W.S. Jennings....Vice-Pres. / 1845 Main St., Jacksonville, Fla. / Mrs. Wallace T. Perham... Vice-Pres. / Glendive, Montana.
The General Federation of Women's Club (GFWC) purchased this house in 1922, so the postcard must have been mailed only a year or two before that. In 1991, the building was named a National Historic Landmark.

In 1868, journalist Jane Cunningham Croly wasn't allowed to attend a dinner at an all-male press club in honor of Charles Dickens. Subsequently, she created a women's club, Sorosis. In 1809, Croly invited a number of women's clubs throughout the country to attend a ratification convention in New York City. Out of that meeting, the GFWC was created.

Since then, it has supported women volunteers. As noted on their website, "GFWC members volunteered more than 4.5 million hours on nearly 100,000 projects, and donated more than $24 million in both monetary and in-kind donations" in 2013.

One of the earliest campaigns supported by the GFWC strove to end child labor. They've worked to help pass the Pure Food and Drug Act (1906), promote child nutrition and safety, fund libraries, support passage of the ERA, and more. Jane Addams and Eleanor Roosevelt were both active GFWC members.

Today, the GFWC publishes a Club Manual with a section on Fundraising and Development. I wonder how they would conduct the capital campaign today!

General Federation of Women's Clubs Headquarters by Almonroth
Licensed Under CC-BY-3

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